Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAt Wellness HQ we spend a lot of time thinking and talking about what ‘wellness’ means to us. And that’s a really big question. It covers what we put in our mouths, how we move our bodies, the thoughts we think, the work we do, how we treat other people… the list goes on and on. Because this list can be so exhaustive, making you question all sorts of things in your life that you consider normal, it’s easy to shy away from the big questions.

Instead, we justify the decision we make.
“I sit at a desk all day long, because that’s what I’m meant to do.”
“I don’t go to yoga because that’s just for flexible people.”
“I eat fast food because I don’t have time to cook.”

For me, wellness means starting small and manageable. There’s no and then getting unmotivated when it all gets too much.

stu-run-ironman2Just ask Stu. He didn’t wake up and decide he wanted to do an Ironman. He did some short distance triathlons, three 70.3 events (half Ironman races) then decided he wanted to take on the next step. By that stage he’d already built up a routine around his training; he already knew what the six weeks before a race felt like; he knew that he had the basic building blocks in place to take on the next challenge. Small and manageable then builds up to conquer things you didn’t know were possible.
I think that a great place to start is our plates.

The old saying, “you are what you eat” is so true. We use the food we eat to build new cells. So why not give yourself the healthiest building materials? But how do we know what is best? There are so many options out there – vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, vegan, fasting, cleanses, high-fat-low-carb, no sugar, raw… All purporting to have the science behind nutrition down. They finally made the breakthrough and this time they really have got the understanding as to what to eat. Until the next round of ‘science’ comes out with the newest discovery.
I think just taking a step back, taking a deep breath and being conscious about what we’re eating is the perfect place to start though. Do you ever stop to read labels? To find out what’s actually in your food? To see what a portion size of your favourite snack really is? To see where your meat came from? To listen to your body to see when you’re actually full? For me personally, doing this means that I’m meat free and sometimes vegan. For Stu when he’s training, that means good protein and chocolate milk. Maybe for you, that means something completely different. But stopping to think about what you’re ingesting can only lead to being happier + healthier as you’ll be giving your body what it truly needs.


Ben_warrenLast week I went to hear Ben Warren from BePure speak. Being interested in food and nutrition, I was looking forward to it, but I really didn’t expect it to be as informative as it was. First up, Ben comes across as a really nice, relatable kinda guy. Second, it was nice to hear from a nutritionist that wasn’t pushing their own agenda. Well, I guess he was but it actually makes sense to me so maybe I’m more open to hearing about it? Let’s back up a little. To give you some background, Ben recognises that we shouldn’t all be eating one kind of diet. Primal, Plant-Based, Paleo, Vegetarian, HFLC, Vegan – as far as I’ve seen, these all work for some people. But they don’t all work for everyone. Ben talked about different cultures getting the majority of their calories from varying sources – some 80% from fat/protein; some 80% from carbohydrates. Today there exists a continuum between these two and it depends where on that continuum you sit, as to what you digest better. To me, this sits well with the blood type diet idea. For some people, an apple gives them energy for hours; for others it makes them hungrier that before they ate it. He states that it is important to work out your genetic makeup so that you can start pinpointing the foods that give you the most energy. Makes total sense to me. The second part of his manifesto is about the quality of food we’re eating. I think we can all agree that it’s not great. From fruits and vegetables that lose 80% of their water-soluble vitamins (Bs and C) in four days, to bread that has doubled in gluten content in 15 years. We have become so disconnected from our food production system that we don’t even know what real food tastes like anymore. Couple that with NZ soil that is lacking in a whole raft of minerals, how are we meant to try and eat our way to health? Ben’s answer – supplements. Personally I would much rather get my nutrients from food, but it seems like that is bordering on impossible. So he has come up with a range of supplements specifically for New Zealanders, based on what we are lacking here. I also love the fact that he’s promoting a sustainably caught, South Pacific fish oil. I have to say, I’m intrigued. Has anyone out there tried his products or his programmes? I would love to hear your feedback on them. For more on Ben Warren, check out his TED Talk.

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